Meditation for Better Spiritual Health
Meditation is one tool I use to help me stay sane in these crazy times. Being stuck at home for the last six weeks or so because of the coronavirus and now with all the protests going on, it’s crazy out there and it doesn’t help that I suffer from depression and anxiety.
There is no right or wrong way to meditate, you have to find what works best for you. You should try to meditate every day for 15 minutes, but it’s totally up to you. I don’t always get in my 15 minutes a day, somedays I don’t get to meditate at all, other days I might get in several five-minute sessions throughout the day, and other days I might meditate for 30 minutes. So you see, it’s more about making meditation a habit and making it work for you than anything else.
So how do you meditate? I’m going to share with you the eight steps I used when I first started meditating. I’ll also share a video or two to help you get started.
- Commit to 5-30 minutes per day – Start out at five minutes a day, and work up to at least 15 minutes a day. But like I said before if you miss a day don’t worry about it just keep going.
- Eliminate Distractions – Find a time during the day when you have the least distractions, and find a place where you won’t be disturbed. Maybe that time is before everyone gets up in the morning, or before you go to bed at night and maybe your quiet place is in the bedroom with the door closed or the back porch. You just need to find what works for you.
- Relax and Get Comfortable – Find a position that you are comfortable in, whether it is sitting up or lying down (the only thing is your spine needs to be straight, and if you’re lying down make sure you don’t fall asleep). You can sit on the floor (lotus position not required) or in a chair with your feet on the floor. Rest your hands in your lap and relax; take a few deep breaths and feel your muscles relax from your head to your toes. If you have a hard time relaxing, try stretching beforehand, it may help to relax you.
- Focus Your Mind – Now you are ready to begin to focus your mind which is what meditation is all about, keeping your mind focused on the present moment, not on the past or on what needs to be done in the next hour. Your mind will wander, you will just simply gently bring it back to the moment. I can focus on many things during my meditation, but focusing on your breath is the easiest so that’s the best place to start. Some people like to listen to calming music while they meditate (for me it was a bit distracting). If you want to try it, give yourself time to get pretty good at focusing your mind then you can try adding some music. There are a lot of good meditation CDs out there, just find one you like and give it a try.
- Breath Slowly and Deeply – Begin by gently closing your eyes. Then take in a few slow deep breaths – in through your nose and out through your mouth. Don’t force your breathing, allow it to come naturally, taking full deep breaths. Now focus your mind on each breath, sense the air filling your lungs, and as it rushes past your lips. As you continue to do this, you will begin to feel calmer and more relaxed.
- If Your Mind Wanders Bring It Back – If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to your breathing. Your mind will wander and that is perfectly normal; as a matter of fact, when you first start out your mind will wander a lot but as time goes by it will wander less and less. That is what meditation is all about, being able to keep your mind in the present, focused on the here and now.
- Ending Your Meditation – When you’re ready to end your meditation, stand up slowly. Great work! You did it!
- Practice Makes Perfect – It will probably be frustrating at first but stick with it. Maybe you can only do three minutes at first, that’s okay, just keep going you’ll work up to five minutes, then 10 minutes, and then 15 minutes.
I’ve been doing this for years, trust me it works, and now I can use my meditation skills no matter where I am. I can be in a crowded, noisy room and be totally stressed, but I can shut my eyes for five minutes, focus on my breathing(shutting everything else out) and after those five minutes I’m a lot less stressed and much calmer. Getting here takes lots of practice and now is a great time to start.